Like many cities, Arcata has its fair share of pets. There are currently more than 625 dogs registered in Arcata. That's a lot of dogs and even more waste! According to the Environmental Protection Agency, pet waste is a significant pollutant and is in the same category as oil and other toxic chemicals.
Pet waste that is left on our streets, sidewalks, yards, and parks has the potential to be washed away by rainwater and into Arcata's storm drain system. Storm water flows directly into our local waterways with no treatment. It may not seem like it, but pet waste is a threat to both water quality and human health.
Did you know that pet waste contains excessive nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus? These nutrients encourage the growth of algae, which reduces oxygen in streams that fish and other aquatic organisms need to survive.
Pet waste is also known to carry harmful bacteria and micro-organisms such as ,, and . These pathogens can make our waterways unswimmable, unfishable, and can cause severe illnesses in humans. Those especially at risk are young children and the elderly.
Cleaning up after your pet isn't just courteous, it's the healthy and environmentally sound thing to do. Let's work together to keep pet waste out of our water resources and recreational areas.